Coconut palms silhouetted against neon skies. The perfume of Cuban coffee and the beat of steel drums. Endless ocean and velvet air … it’s all so Miami. No surprise that this locale inspired our favorite summer looks: The Seaside Sophisticate.
If we had only one day in Miami, we’d make Little Havana a must-see. Pulsing with Cuban authenticity, Calle Ocho (8th Street) is the main drag through this unforgettable neighborhood.
Begin where the refugees of the 1960s began—at the Tower Theater. (1508 SW 8th St.). Cubans fleeing Fidel Castro first tasted American culture by watching movies like West Side Story and Breakfast at Tiffany’s here, subtitled in Spanish. Take a selfie out front because this is where Little Havana took root.
Now, follow your nose next door to El Exquisito (1510 SW 8th St.) for a cup of fragrant cafesito. This dark, sweet Cuban espresso is just what you need to get your heart thumping the Little Havana beat.
A stone’s throw away is Gomez Park (8th St. & 15th Ave.), and it’s worth the wander. At first you’ll wonder if there’s an event going on—some sort of dominos tournament? No, Little Havana’s retirees play rowdy rounds of dominos and debate politics here every day and well into the night. Unless you’re over 55, don’t try to sit down and join them; they’ll politely tell you you’re just not old enough!
Local color is great. But the neighborhood brims with actual color, too. The door is casually open at Agustin Gainza Gallery (1652 SW 8th St.), but the art grabs you by the collar and yanks you in. Gainza, a Cuban-born artist, says he likes to “tell the story of color with madness and delight,” and his paintings and sculptures don’t disappoint.
It’s time for a medianoche, a pressed Cuban sandwich with layers of ham, cheese, roast pork, pickles and mustard at El Cristo (1543 SW 8th St.), Nearly every restaurant in Little Havana has a take-out counter. Catch snippets of the Cuban jazz, salsa and merengue music emanating from each kitchen while you grab a paper-wrapped sandwich, guava ice cream or hand-chopped coconut water. We dare you not to move your body while you eat.
More than anything, the scent of cigars brings images of the delicate Havana breeze and hot beaches of Old Cuba to the minds of the residents. So you’ll want to visit El Titan de Bronze (1071 SW 8th St.) to watch an expert cigar maker hand roll one and tell a story or two of home.
When the sun dips low, head back down Calle Ocho to where you started. Relax with a mojito and listen to pachanga music at the world-famous Ball & Chain Lounge (1513 SW 8th St.). It’s the perfect capper to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Little Havana.
Water, water everywhere. Coconut palms and elegant abodes. Rooftop lounges and neon skies. The perfume of Cuban coffee and the beat of steel drums.
Miami’s white-hot pulse is cooled by a dip into the endless seas or the glittering pool. Sometimes sizzling, sometimes serene … it’s all so Miami.
Miami is a lifestyle. And fun never seems to be far off the radar. Even when the temperature drops, it’s muy caliente. It’s no wonder people from everywhere flock to Miami for music, art and sun. If you’re going to sleep past noon and chill out by the water, there’s no better place to do it in style.
Miami is brimming with elegant mansions, flanked by terraces, porticos and gazebos. Many have captivating views of endless sea or soaring skyline. This is the way to luxuriate on the coast.
Inside these mansions, the views are magnificent. The palette is pure coastal: endless shades of blue meet pristine whitecaps.
When you want to sleep till noon, you can do so blissfully in a crisply layered, ocean-inspired bedroom. In a four-poster bed. Under cool Resort sheets. It’s time to make your escape.
Steal away for an afternoon siesta beneath the shade of a soaring palm or an expansive covered porch. A handsome chaise or cuddle chair is perfect for shady nooks and life’s little moments.
When it’s time to kick back, sparkling blue pools cool Miami’s famous sizzle. There’s no better way to while away an afternoon than in a chaise lounge.
Swank, but laid-back. Elegant, but pulsating with energy. Miami’s definitely more than a look. It’s a lifestyle.
Written by: Canyon Ranch Staff
We tend to associate candles with festive occasions—gathering around a birthday cake, or enjoying a meal with someone special—but there are many calming effects of candlelight. One of the more powerful ways to enjoy the beauty of candlelight is during a moment of stillness and solitude, when you turn off the world and tune into yourself.
There’s a reason candles are integral to religious and spiritual ceremonies the world over—the flame’s soft illumination touches the soul. Some people find they can achieve a meditative state more easily by focusing on candlelight than on a mantra or a mandala. The calming effect of candlelight can be a simple yet sacred tool to help reduce stress and increase self-awareness.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to create the ideal safe, healthy and tranquil atmosphere:
Opt for soy or beeswax. Long-term exposure to emissions from petroleum-based paraffin wax candles may pose a health hazard, according to a South Carolina State University study. Not only do paraffin candles release unhealthy chemicals such as alkenes and toluene (linked to the development of cancer and known to aggravate allergies and asthma), petroleum products are also not a renewable resource. Instead, choose soy or beeswax candles, which are renewable, free of toxins and biodegradable.
Add your own aromatherapy. A pleasing scent can be extremely soothing, but skip artificially scented candles (which contain petroleum-based synthetic compounds) and go for those infused with natural essential oils. You’ll get the soothing benefits from a whiff of essential oils with none of the chemicals you’d find in an artificially scented candle. Since different essential oils trigger specific reactions, pick those that have been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender.
Consider color. Candles come in a rainbow of hues–which are perfect for dressing up a dinner party or backyard barbecue–but when it comes to using them to help calm and center you, stay neutral. Pastel or plain white candles can help you remain relaxed and focus on the flame itself.
Take care. To stay safe, keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable; use sturdy, tip-proof holders; and avoid burning candles all the way down. Or consider battery-operated candles—their electronic flickering realistically mimics the real thing.
Once you’ve chosen your candles, add them to various aspects of your daily routine to create a moment of peace and calm whenever and wherever you need it.
In the morning or evening. Create your own altar using a shelf, table or other surface in a well-ventilated area. In addition to one or two candles, you may want to include objects that inspire or relax you—crystals, seashells, figurines, flowers and/or plants, personal mementos, photos, written affirmations. Spend a few moments each day, either as soon as you wake up or just before bedtime, sitting quietly in this space. As you sit, focus on the flames, noticing their beauty as you relax and breathe through your nose. Inhale for six counts, hold for three and exhale for six. For stress release, turn your attention to the melting wax and imagine it as tension melting and dripping away.
In the bathroom. The next time you are preparing to soak in the tub or take a shower, turn out the lights and rely on candles instead. By combining calming candlelight with the stress relief of warm, soothing water, you give yourself a double dose of relaxation.
While exercising. If you practice yoga, tai chi or qigong at home, try adding a few candles to your routine. The calming effects can help you relax both your mind and your body, allowing for deeper stretches and better concentration. You may also find that sitting quietly or lying down in a candlelit room is a great way to unwind after an intense workout.
Turn your space into a place to luxuriate and unwind with inspiration from our Pinterest board.
Summer is synonymous with spontaneity. Long days and sultry nights give rise to last-minute weekend getaways and impromptu pool parties. So when it comes to entertaining, any event – even if it’s an elegant dinner party that you’ve planned for weeks – should feel as free-spirited as the season itself.
A polished party doesn’t have to feel stuffy. Like a gorgeous summer sundress, the setting should be feminine, flirty, colorful and cool.
Show your flair for the dramatic by mixing and matching textures, patterns and color. Unlikely designs and unexpected colors engage the senses and create a buzzworthy party even before the first cocktail is poured.
The Quatrefoil Outdoor Dining Chair is clearly a surprise. Styled like an indoor chair with an upholstered seat and back, the flower shape adds a touch of whimsy to the table setting.
A mosaic of patterns and colors – romantic florals and lively geometrics, jewel-tone blues and citrusy greens – adds a charming effervescence to the scene.
A table setting brings a sense of order to the party….tableware, flatware, glassware, linens. There’s a place for everything. Yet the setting should have elements of surprise. Upbeat hues, fanciful accessories and splashes of color make it look good enough to eat.
Artistic little tables, whimsical elephants and even a patio umbrella add energy.
Effervescent hues meet dazzling style. Get a splash of color on our Palm Springs Dream pinterest board: